THE £240,000 refurbishment of a Bradford library has failed to "take into consideration" disabled people, critics have claimed.

Concerns emerged after an angry resident, who was visiting Eccleshill Library, was forced to struggle up a flight of stairs to access a toilet.

Clare Pollard, 65, who suffers from Parkinson's and uses a rollator walking frame, had to be helped up a flight of 17 steps to a first floor toilet at the Bolton Road library and information centre by family members.

She was assisted by her husband, John Pollard, 68, and granddaughter, Sophie Pollard, 20.

But she says there are no toilet facilities specifically for disabled people at the library, only men's and ladies' toilets.

Bradford Council said it had managed to fund "essential repairs" to the decades-old library, but did not have money available for "additional works" before reopening the building last year.

But it said it would see what could be done to "remedy the situation" as cheaply as possible.

Mrs Pollard, of Old Park Road, Thorpe Edge, who visited the site last month, said: "I was disgusted by it. I just want answers.

"It was an old block that was redesigned to bring it up to standard to cater for everybody.

"It's annoying. Are the council going to rectify that mistake for the elderly and the disabled?

"It will affect elderly people as well, they will struggle with the steps.

"I'm angry about it. It's just been refurbished. I thought they would make it easier for people with a disability or for the elderly."

The library was closed for four months for maintenance and refurbishment work and re-opened on March 30 last year.

It follows a £240,000 revamp of the 1960s building which took longer than expected after a steel frame holding up the roof was found to be damaged, costing an extra £10,000 to fix.

The refurbishment work on the library included the counter area being replaced, new lighting, flooring and automatic doors in the entrance and the refurbishment of the toilets.

The council-owned library was opened in 1964 and is the district's seventh busiest library, with more than 21,000 books available. It was extensively refurbished in 1990 when the layout was altered.

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, Bradford Council's executive member for education, skills and culture, said: "When Eccleshill Library was built decades ago it was designed with meeting rooms and toilets upstairs.

"We managed to get the funding together last year to do essential repairs to keep the building open but no money was available to do additional works. "Not all libraries have public toilets but I've asked officers to have a look at what might be done to remedy the situation at Eccleshill as cheaply as possible."

Emmerson Walgrove, deputy chairman of Bradford and District Disabled People's Forum (BDPF), said: "I am slightly taken aback that the powers that be took this decision when they refurbished it, and did not take into consideration disabled people.

"If they decide to install disabled toilets now it will cost them more money. There is clearly an issue around access to toilets for disabled people here."